Friday, December 04, 2009

Feds Invest in Solazyme

From the inbox:

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the selection of a Pennsylvania integrated biorefinery project to receive more than $21.7 million in Recovery Act funding to accelerate the construction and operation of a pilot scale facility. Today’s selection is part of 19 integrated biorefinery projects that will receive up to $564 million in Recovery Act funding from the Department of Energy. The projects – in 15 states – will validate refining technologies and help lay the foundation for full commercial-scale development of a biomass industry in the United States. The projects announced today will produce advanced biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts using biomass feedstocks at the pilot, demonstration, and full commercial scale. Projects selected today are part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, spur the creation of the domestic bio-industry and provide new jobs in many rural areas of the country.

“Advanced biofuels are critical to building a cleaner, more sustainable transportation system in the U.S.” said Secretary Chu. “These projects will help establish a domestic industry that will create jobs here at home and open new markets across rural America.”

The project announced today – Solazyme, Inc., located in Riverside, PA – will validate the projected economics of a commercial scale biorefinery producing multiple advanced biofuels. This project will produce algae oil that can be converted to oil-based fuels.

Of the nearly $564 million in Recovery Act funding announced today, up to $483 million will go to 14 pilot-scale and 4 demonstration-scale biorefinery projects across the country. The remaining $81 million will focus on accelerating the construction of a biorefinery project previously awarded funding. Collectively, these projects will be matched with more than $700 million in private and non-Federal cost-share funds, for total project investments well over $1.2 billion.

The biofuels and bioproducts produced through these projects will displace petroleum and accelerate the industry’s ability to achieve production targets mandated by the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). These investments will help close the gap between the production from the small number of biorefineries currently in operation and the aggressive Renewable Fuel Standard goals for cellulosic and advanced biofuels.

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